How to take more successful Decisions?


For a long time, I was proud of my rational decision-making. I was able to neglect my gut feeling and take the most logical decisions. Very often after taking the decision, I was finding myself in doubts. “Would it not have been better to do it the other way?” In this internal conflict, I was losing a lot of energy and focus. It took me a while to understand that for successful decisions, I need a more holistic approach.


Today I am listening to my body, my emotions, my gut and my heart and of course I am still using my mind to come to a decision. I trust having found a successful decision when I have reached inner clarity. That means, my head and my heart are aligned and pulling in the same direction. Guess what? After taking decisions, I had no more doubts. Today I can make use of the energy, that I lost earlier in my inner conflicts, to start the relevant actions as a result of my decisions.

I found a way to consciously take decisions, which turned out to be a lot more peaceful and more successful than my pure rational decisions. But why?


According to Harvard researchers, 95% of our buying decisions are made unconsciously. [1]


Neurobiologists tell us that human consciousness really experiences the world in a holistic way. For example, people don't experience a cake by sampling a sequence of ingredients. Instead, they experience the taste of a fully baked cake.


Companies are starting to invest in Neuro-Marketing, to make use of research insights of how customers buying decisions are influenced by the complex interactions between mind, brain, body, emotions and society.


Instead of just using this knowledge to sell more to customers, leaders could also start using this knowledge to take more successful conscious decisions.This is exactly what conscious leadership is about.


It is not about learning new tools to improve the small 5% part of our decision making process. 

It is about tapping more and more into the powerful 95% of the unconscious part of decision-making.

Conscious Leaders understand which unconscious drivers are influencing their decisions.


Richard Barrett introduced a very smart model to describe the process of decision-making in detail [2]:


Richard distinguishes 3 outcomes: Reactions, Responses and Reflections. The outcome is very much influenced by the consciousness you are in, when taking the decision.


Reactions happen very fast. This is an advantage if you have to run for your life. The beast chasing you does not care about it if you tell him: “Stop - I need more time for a well reflected decision.” Your unconscious instincts are very much appreciated in this case.


The dangerous part are the subconscious beliefs. Let us assume, as a small child we fell into water and were almost drowning, because we could not swim. Today as an adult, we have to make a decision how to cross a small river. Our subconscious belief is, water is life threatening. We probably unconsciously discard the option to swim, instead we would feel better to take the long way to the next bridge.


Especially when under pressure, people tend to automatically use routine thinking patterns to decide. In a fast changing world, leaders cannot expect to be successful, when they just use solutions from the past for complex challenges of the future.


Only if you are aware that you are driven by subconscious beliefs, you have a real choice. Only then you can create more conscious outcomes like value based responses or well reflected decisions using your intuition.


So the prerequisite to come to sustainable successful decisions is to become more and more conscious.


And conscious leadership can be learned. READ MORE …





[1] Gerald Zaltman “How Customers Think - Essential Insights into the Mind of the Market”


[2] Richard Barrett “The 6 Modes of Decision-making”


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